The Air Jordan is one of the most popular sneaker brands in the world.  Air Jordans have been the number-one brand of sneakers in the world for many years.

Since their release in 1984, Air Jordans have sold millions of shoes.  With worldwide sales topping 5 billion dollars in 2022, the brand continues to thrive.

What makes them so popular?

Performance and Style

When the shoes were originally designed, Jordan tested prototypes in 1984.  He immediately noticed that the increased cushioning and support allowed him to make sharper cuts and play at a higher level than other players.

The brand continues to innovate by using the latest technology and materials.  Innovations like air cushioning and flywire are examples of the continued effort to produce shoes that provide support and responsiveness.

The shoes are made using premium quality materials.  The construction provides excellent comfort, breathability and durability.

Jordans have a unique and timeless style.  The iconic silhouettes and colours are instantly recognisable.  It’s amazing how well the style has translated to today’s youth.


Michael Jordan is recognised as the greatest basketball player of all time.  His shoes are a direct link to his competitiveness and his drive for excellence.

The signature motto – “Be Like Mike” ad campaign encouraged anyone seeking to compete at a high level to copy the winning ways and attitude of Michael Jordan.  This translates down to wearing his shoes and jerseys.

Jordans became part of the 90s hip-hop, fashion and culture scene.  The shoes became a status symbol for a whole generation of youth.  Celebrities and musicians added to the cool factor.

Brand Marketing

Nike has done an excellent job of marketing and promoting the Jordan brand.  By capitalizing on Michael Jordan’s on-court brilliance and persona they built it into a 5 billion dollar-a-year brand.

Jordans are exclusive. By limiting releases, Nike ensures continued high demand for the shoes. The strategy of limited release is so successful that it is copied by other brands trying to emulate the success of Nike.

The brand’s marketing genius is reflected in the following:

  • Jumpman logo – the iconic logo is immediately recognisable
  • “It’s Gotta Be The Shoes” ad campaign with Mars Blackmon
  • Spike Lee portrayal of Mars Blackmon in the film “She’s Gotta Have It”
  • “Like Mike” Gatorade commercials
  • Endorsements from athletes, musicians and other celebrities.

It all ties back to having one of the most charismatic, alluring and exciting sports figures in the world wearing the shoe.  Generations of kids have grown up with the legend of Michael Jordan, and it’s natural for them to want to emulate him.

Michael Jordan’s legacy, Nike’s marketing mastery and the shoe’s cultural presence in hip-hop and sports all combine to make the Jordan brand into a sneaker powerhouse.  The brand does not show any signs of slowing down, with sales continuing to thrive.

Jordan’s greatness and drive for excellence provide the blueprint for success in any endeavour.  Is it any wonder that his shoes are so popular?